Vuelta 2018 Stage 17: Michael Woods climbs to glory, Simon Yates retains La Roja

La Vuelta's 17th stage is crammed with hills and mountains. The most demanding climb is saved for the finale when the riders tackle Monte Oiz, a steep and narrow toil above the Balcón de Bizkaia. In the mist-shrouded finale Michael Woods outclimbs Dylan Teuns, while Simon Yates keeps the race lead, although Alejandro Valverde gains 8 seconds with a late attack. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 17th stage 2018 Vuelta a España

1. Michael Woods (can)
2. Dylan Teuns (bel) + 0.05
3. David de la Cruz (spa) + 0.10
4. Rafal Majka (pol) + 0.13
5. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.38
6. Alessandro De Marchi (ita) + 0.44
7. Amanuel Gebreigzabhie (eri) + 0.48
8. Jesús Herrada (spa) + 0.51
9. Jai Hindley (aus) + 0.55
10. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 1.48

14. Enric Mas (spa) + 2.40
15. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
17. Simon Yates (gbr) + 2.48
18. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 2.50
22. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 3.44
23. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
24. Ion Izagirre (spa) + 3.53
25. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 4.09
26. Tony Gallopin (fra) + 4.10
28. Emanuel Buchmann (ger) + 4.33
29. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 4.55
32. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 5.26

GC after the 17th stage
1. Simon Yates (gbr)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.25
3. Enric Mas (spa) + 1.22
4. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 1.36
5. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 1.48
6. Nairo Quintana (col) + 2.11
7. Ion Izagirre (spa) + 4.09
8. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 4.36
9. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 5.31
10. Tony Gallopin (fra) + 6.05

11. Emanuel Buchmann (ger) + 6.33
12. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 9.15

Race report
A lot of movement after the start, but the riders hit the first slopes of the Alto de la Arboleda together. A group of 21 riders then distances the peloton before the top. Thomas De Gendt pockets most KOM points ahead of Bauke Mollema and Rafal Majka.

The other riders at the front are Vincenzo Nibali, Alessandro De Marchi, Simon Clarke, Ilnur Zakarin, Alexandre Geniez, Michael Woods, David de la Cruz, Omar Fraile, Lukas Pöstlberger, Andrey Amador, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Jonathan Castroviejo, Jai Hindley, Cristian Rodríguez, Jesús Herrada, Stéphane Rossetto and Hector Saez.

While the front group puts 5 minutes into the peloton Pieter Serry, Franco Pellizotti, Merhawi Kudus, Valerio Conti and José Mendes track them down to make it 26 at the front. The gap widens to more than 8 minutes.

De Gendt extends his amount of KOM points at the Alto de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Balcón de Bizkaia, Alto de Santa Eufemia and Alto de Gontzegaraine, which makes him the virtual leader on the polka dot classification

The leaders tackle the last climb 4 minutes ahead of the main group. Clarke is the first rider to strike, but he is brought back. De Marchi is leading the group when they hit the first double digit ramps 4 kilometres before the line. Meanwhile, Thibaut Pinot and Emanuel Buchmann are struggling in the GC group.

Woods, Teuns, Majka and De la Cruz push on together at the front, while Uran, Izagirre and Gallopin are dropped when Valverde accelerates in the main group. A little later Quintana and Kruijswijk lose contact.

De la Cruz and Woods accelerate 1.3 kms before the top, but Teuns and Majka claw their way back under the flamme rouge. Surrounded by fog an heroic fight unfolds on the 18% slopes inside the final kilometre. Teuns strikes with 500 metres to go, but Woods launches a counter-attack. The Canadian opens up a gap and holds on to the line.

Valverde and Enric Mas strike in the dying metres to distance Simon Yates and Miguel Ángel López. The two Spaniards put 8 seconds into the race leader and 10 seconds into the Colombian. Kruijswijk and Quintana cross the line together, 1 minute and 4 seconds behind the best GC riders of the day, Mas and Valverde.

Read also: route 17th stage 2018 Vuelta a España.

Vuelta a España 2018 stage 17: Route map, height profile, and more

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